Career Coach Perspectives: The Elevator Pitch

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So, if I was a recruiter and asked you to tell me about yourself, what would you say? Take a second…it’s difficult right? You’re trying to sell yourself, but how do you sum about two decades of experiences that have made you complex, qualified, and an attractive candidate?

Did you talk about your hometown, or that you like dogs, or did you talk about your GPA? All valid points! But I know how impressed I am when someone is in touch with who they are and can articulate their viewpoints concisely. Let’s strive to be that person who can tell you what kind of work they do, what kind of work they are best suited for, and how they react to situations without blinking an eye. This kind of information is probably going to be more useful to HR than what your favorite flavor of ice cream is (mine’s is vanilla, what does that say about me?).

Being able to articulate who you are and what you’re about in 60 seconds is a very powerful skill–sometimes you have one brief chance to make a lasting impression, and you want to make the most of it. In the professional world, this 60 second spiel is called “an elevator pitch.” It is often the beginning of a process called “networking” (I like to think of it more as trying to make a friend to take some of the pressure off).

When it comes to summing up work experiences, this blog post is not the best medium to give you the individualized responses you deserve. But if you set up an appointment with a career counselor or drop in to resume review hours, the CDC may be able to help with that (shameless plug…)! My two cents on summing up your job/current projects is this: keep it simple. Say, you are research assistant and you have a slew of responsibilities; it may be hard to listen to a laundry list of duties you have. Your resume/LinkedIn page can cover all of that. Condense it down.

Luckily for us, we do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to picking phrases that will help the listener realize they are lucky to be in the presence of a self-aware, highly intelligent individual. There are a variety of personality quizzes that can help phrase how you respond to challenges, how you influence others, your interests, how you make decisions, how you process information, etc.

*Interest Inventory:
*Visit the CDC for your free MyPlan login and a delightful chat with our career counselors to access the Myers-Briggs and Interest Inventory links!

For the sake of keeping this blog post a somewhat manageable length, I will talk about the DISC. My results said my strongest personality factor is “Steadiness” and interpreted this as “[having] the ability to do the task in hand and to do routine work with patience and care.” I also got this nice little blurb that reads: “You enjoy interacting with and helping people. You are open to new ideas and procedures. Although you are calm and controlled you still project enthusiasm and optimism. Your natural supportive, listening and empathetic behavior makes you a good coach.” I would not read off this nicely packaged blurb as a pitch because it very general, but I did let these phrases marinate. My main take-aways were that my personality traits allow me to be successful in situations where I have to interact with people and that I am detail oriented (my Myers-Briggs reaffirm this). I think of successful work experiences I have had in the past and what work I enjoy doing, and these results still hold true.

So what does this all mean? Well, I hate to give this answer because it feels like a cop-out, but you can use these however you want. You can choose to verbalize some of these phrases when trying to explain yourself to another person, or you can use these results to guide what type of work opportunities to look for. Or because CTM, these results will manifest in some unique situation and I would love to hear about it! But all I am saying is if someone dropped that they “may lose interest in projects once the challenge has gone and they tend to be impatient and dissatisfied with minor detail” (quote from DISC results) and referenced an example of this, I would be floored at how well they knew themselves.

But, what about you! Did you find these quizzes accurate? That in certain lights, your results accurately reflected your spirit and verbalized your attitudes and interests so accurately you were mad you didn’t think of them yourself? Fantastic! Write some of these phrases down and use them! Or, were you unimpressed by these quizzes and likened them more to generic fortune cookie outputs? Super duper! Think of why your results did not resonate with you and maybe you can reference those.

In conclusion, you are smart, capable and deserving of others’ time. Take the time to come up with a brief statement to help other people realize it quickly. These personality quizzes can help, but they are not the only way to go about describing your personality–if you don’t feel comfortable using them, don’t. Talk it out with your friends, your family, your pet turtle: just practice your pitch. Regardless of what tools you use (or don’t), just keep in mind what you want people to remember about you.

Internship Expo 2015: What I Did Last Summer

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Learn everything you need to know about internships!

Tonight Monday February 23,

Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, Second Floor

5:00 to 7:00 PM

You will get a chance to hear from Juniors & Seniors about their internships last summer, how they applied, & what they learned from their experiences.

Have your resume reviewed

Learn how to use the CDC databases to find opportunities

Get information about the Skidmore Summer Funded Internship Awards Program

Questions? Contact the Career Development Center at, or call 518-580-5790

Want to help the world?

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Want a job with IMPACT? Meet with a PAL today

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Alumni Rachel Konowitz, ’09 will be tabling in Case Center from 11:30 to 3:00 PM. Learn more about how you can make an IMPACT on our planet, FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT, OUR DEMOCRACY, OUR FUTURE.

IMPACT currently employs organizers in 25 states, working on national campaigns to reduce global warming pollution, restore Clean Water Act protections to America’s streams, expand solar power in 12 states from Arizona to Massachusetts, end the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, and counter the influence of Super PACs and billionaires over our democracy.

Stop by to learn more!

Want to teach in China?

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Friend of a Professor, Dr Wong will be hosting an information session this Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00 PM at Starbuck 203.

Opportunity of the Day! Intern in Central Park this summer with a PAL!

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Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization, was formed in 1980 by a group of concerned citizens determined to improve Central Park. Today, we manage Central Park under a contract with the City of New York. Over its 160-year history, the Park has experienced several cycles of restoration and decline. The era of decline in the 1960s and 1970s led to Central Park Conservancy’s formation. Central Park Conservancy is uniquely qualified to prevent future declines and ensure the Park’s care for current and future generations.

Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, corporations, foundations, and the City of New York, Central Park Conservancy has invested nearly $700 million to date into the Park, making it a model for urban parks worldwide. We provide 75% of Central Park’s $57 million annual operating budget, and are responsible for all aspects of Park maintenance, as well as capital improvements and restorations.

Central Park Conservancy’s Horticultural Sciences College Internship provides students with the opportunity to work side-by-side with Central Park Conservancy staff, building important life and career skills, better understanding the role they have in protecting living landscapes, and learning more about the complexity of managing an urban park that receives over 40 million visits a year.
This is a 10-week internship, June 1, 2015 – August 6, 2015.
Interns work Monday – Thursday, from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, at a rate of $14 an hour. Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern.

Contact Skidmore alumni Alexander Egan, ’07 for Application:
aegan @

Skidmore listing from Alexander Egan, ’07

Opportunity of the Day! Former professor looking for intern marketing strategist 5 minutes from campus!

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Saratoga Peak Performance is a local personal training and sports conditioning business. The business does adult personal training, post-physical therapy sessions, yoga, pilates and has a growing number of regional athletes (ages 9-22) who train to develop better strength, speed, power and stamina. The company is owned and operated by Bryan Briddell, Ph.D.; a former professor at Skidmore College (1986-1994). The company has six part-time certified trainers.

Ability to help grow a new personal training and sports conditioning business through social media strategies as well as help develop strong internal and external marketing programs.

Basic Resume with Skills Listed in Job Description, email

Deadline 12/31/14

Skidmore listing from former professor Bryan Briddell, Ph.D.

Opportunity of the Day! is looking for a Community Relations Intern

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Community relations internship opportunities are offered on an ongoing basis, with one intern accepted per semester, including summer sessions. Interns are supervised by Saratoga PLAN community relations staff and/or stewardship staff, and spend the majority of their time working out of Saratoga PLAN’s office located in Saratoga Springs, New York. The community relations intern position is designed to provide hands-on communications and public relations experience in a fast-paced nonprofit environment for graduate or undergraduate college students.

– Assist with media relations (radio and press releases), outreach communications (newsletters, e-mails, mailings, etc.), and web-based technologies (website updates, social networking, etc.);
– Writing for newsletters, event promotions, data mining, or press releases;
– Videography, photography, and producing multimedia pieces to update PLAN’s website;
– Assist with event planning and implementation for hikes, snow-shoe walks, kayak paddles, bird walks, tabling events, etc. (summer community outreach interns will work on the Feast of the Fields, PLAN’s largest fundraising event)

The position is ideal for a student interested in marketing, communications, journalism, event planning, or outreach. Specific areas of focus are assigned based on Saratoga PLAN’s project needs at the time of application, as well as the applicant’s skillset, background, and interests. Desired candidates include juniors, seniors and alumni.

If you have any questions about Saratoga PLAN’s community relations internship opportunities, and/or would like to apply for a community relations internship, please submit a resume and cover letter to our Stewardship Coordinator, Devin, at:

Deadline 2/12/15

Opportunity of the day for 12/3/14! Intern with a PAL at a NYC art gallery!

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A sales/marketing internship entry-level position is currently available in a ground floor Chelsea gallery.


– Answering multiple phone lines and overseeing general reception duties
– Responding to general e-mail queries and/or forward to appropriate person
– Update works on Artsy (will be trained)
– Coordinating mailings for print and distribution
– Providing necessary administrative support to the principal of the gallery and staff
– Office filing and organization
– Organizing image library and photo-editing (will be trained)
– Updating website and social media (will be trained)
– Other miscellaneous gallery errands as needed

Required Qualifications:

– Must be Mac literate and have advanced Microsoft Office skills and knowledge in
Adobe Photoshop
– Ability to multi-task, and manage data entry with a meticulous attention to detail
– Strong organizational, written, and verbal communication skills
– Bachelors degree in Art History, related field, or currently in school

In 1994 Valerie Dillon established Dillon Gallery in Soho with a concentration in contemporary Nihonga painters from Japan. She has continued to develop this program and now represents the most influential artists working in this genre, while continuing to identify and establish the next generation of artists with a global impact.

Dillon Gallery relocated to Chelsea and now occupies a 5,000 square foot converted 19th century warehouse on 25th street. It was here that Ms. Dillon began shifting her focus from primarily visual artists to her exploration of multimedia disciplines not usually associated with a traditional art gallery. In 2006 the gallery presented “Painted Music” a series combining technology with painting and music. This shift gave rise to the current group of artists represented by the gallery. Dillon Gallery is a pioneer in the art of scent with its 2012 ground breaking solo exhibition by Christophe Laudamiel dedicated exclusively to scent. Ms. Dillon’s early interest in the performing arts continued with many parallel presentations of art, music, and interactive exhibitions. Dillon Gallery has committed to sponsoring and championing collaborative performance pieces and interactive exhibitions dealing with the intersection of the visual arts and performing arts such as “Listen Quiet,” “The Armchair Parade,” “Osmeos,” and “Blackship Moments.”

Skidmore alumni listing from Emma Weinstein, ’13

See your MyCDC account, job # 10178 for more info

Opportunity of the Day for 12/2/14! Work with a PAL – 2015 Fixed Income Summer Analyst Program

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2015 Fixed Income Summer Analyst Program
Morgan Stanley’s Fixed Income Division is comprised of Interest Rate and Currency Products, Credit Products and Distribution. Professionals in the Division assess and actively manage risk, trade securities and structure as well as execute innovative transactions in the fast-paced and constantly changing global markets.

The Sales & Trading Fixed Income Summer Analyst Program is 10 weeks, beginning with one week of classroom training, followed by placement on a Fixed Income desk in Global Credit & Municipals, Securitized Products, Foreign Exchange/Emerging Markets, Interest Rates, and Fixed Income Research. Most Summer Analysts are based in New York City, though some may be based in Westchester, Chicago and San Francisco. The Program typically features a management speaker series, product area training, networking events, community service, a performance review and a mentorship program. Summer Analysts receive continued on-the-job training throughout the Program, allowing them to acquire an in-depth understanding of the role a Full-Time Analyst can play.

Summer Analysts begin with a one-day orientation where they are introduced to the Firm’s businesses and learn what it’s like to be an employee at Morgan Stanley. Fixed Income Summer Analysts then attend Sales & Trading division-specific training where they learn core skills essential for success. The curriculum includes daily market updates, business-specific overviews, and basic product and technical training.


* Sales: Develop client base by forming long-term relationships; create investment ideas; sell and cross-sell the Firm’s products; represent the Firm when interfacing with clients on important business issues.
* Trading: Generate trading ideas and analysis; support all aspects of the market-making trade execution process, from providing research analytics on trades to relative value analysis.
* Strategy: Develop investment recommendations on Fixed Income Securities through the study of market fundamentals and technical research.
* Structuring: Build computational models to help issuers and investors optimize a transaction’s economics, and quantify sources of value and risk.

* You are pursuing an undergraduate or Master’s degree, generally as a junior or sophomore, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
* You have advanced knowledge of Excel (preferred).
* You have basic knowledge and a keen interest in finance.
* You are analytical, adaptive, a leader yet team player, as well as a multi-tasker.
* You possess strong oral and written communication skills.

Students must apply:
1. online at
2. YOU MUST ALSO apply through MyCDC.
Deadline is January 4, 2015

Skidmore alumni listing from JR McDermott, ’89

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